By Larry Walsh
Inefficiency my not be apparent when a company is small and growing rapidly. But the whole point of growing rapidly is to get big fast, right? When that happens, the old seat-of-the-pants methods stop working.
A good way to get a handle on how your company works is to implement BPM (Business Process Management) software. One obstacle to BPM implementation – or any major software initiative – is the cost and learning curve. It’s not always easy making the case that your company is so inefficient that you have go through the exercise of modeling your company’s business processes in order to get things under control – especially if your company’s self-image is based on a fast-moving entrepreneurial style.
For this kind of company, a lightweight way of getting started with BPM can make a lot of sense.
In today’s Cloudcast (definition: a Webcast about cloud computing technologies), I spoke with Andy Kim of MedImpact, a pharmacy benefits management company, who told of his experience using cloud-based BPM. MedImpact started life as a tiny entrepreneurial company handling record-keeping for corporate pharmacy benefits. In a few years, MedImpact grew from 3 to 1,000 employees. With that many people, not everyone could act like an entrepreneur; corporate discipline became necessary.
Using a credit card to get going with IBM’s Blueprint software-as-a-service was a great way for Kim and MedImpact to get going with BPM. Bit by bit, MedImpact has deepened its commitment to Blueprint and is now using it to capture knowledge as well as to track processes to assure regulatory compliance.
MedImpact’s story is not that unusual when it comes to cloud computing. The greatest beneficiaries of SaaS and cloud services have been small companies that get sophisticated IT capabilities through the cloud — without high costs or a steep learning curve.